There's a massive buzz in the Island as the TT practice kicks off for the final night before Saturday’s big race. The biggest numbers ever have already been set by Cameron Donald’s 131.457mph lap, but the biggest disappointment is that Valentino Rossi won’t be riding tomorrow.
I’m not the only one who’s gutted. Hundreds of riders have booked ferries and flights and may not get to see the great man ride round the TT course and my heart goes out to everyone who has to change plans or will miss it.
But we can’t do anything with the weather despite numerous requests that Rossi should call his mate the Pope and ask the man upstairs if he can have a word and change the forecast.
The news that I’m not getting to ride with him tomorrow, and it’s now delayed until Monday means that we’ll be under massive pressure to get the ride with and to also get the story written in time for our print slot on Monday night. But that’s what we get paid for, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
We’ve spent most of the day getting the bike in the right place, getting it cleaned and parking it up in a secret location with Rossi’s bike and Ago’s MV Agusta. Rossi’s bike looks super cool though we can’t show you the bike yet as Dainese want it to be a surprise when the man sees it for the first time on Monday.
The best advice in the paddock, ie, former TT racer James Whitham, has been that I get a look round the course before the ride so I just nicked a hire car and did a lap.
Though it barely got above 90nph over the Mountain it properly made my throat dry thinking that the next time I do the course will be somewhat faster. Though I' hoping the R1 will handle slightly better than the Nissan Note I was driving!